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Seeing the unseen: some current challenges in the archaeology of Roman Italy

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Archaeological field survey has changed our perception of ancient landscapes. As such it is based on the systematic mapping, collection and analysis of surface concentrations of potsherds and tile-fragments interpreted as evidence of past human occupation and activities. For a long time there has been a tendency to focus on those classes of pottery whose easily recognisable features and well-established chronologies have made them very popular among surveyors, that is finewares and amphorae. However, it is coarseware potsherds that feature a crucial informative potential. This can be easily appreciated by contrasting and comparing two views of the same landscape as made possible by recent fieldwork in the Lower Liri Valley (Southern Lazio, Italy): a) one based on the recovery of finewares and main amphorae types only; b) the other including coarsewares too.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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